I spent the weekend in Atlanta. I had Shabbos with my best friend and her husband and their two very cute and sweet sons and some really neat friends of theirs. I also spoke at a STEM event to benefit Yeshiva Atlanta sponsored by the Hebrew Order of David, a sort of grown-up fraternity for Jewish men which I never knew existed. It was a lovely weekend.
I was supposed to go to Paris Monday, because I am doing a photo shoot for CBS Watch magazine, and although it was to be a short trip, I was trying to be excited.
Why was I not excited 1000%? Well, I’m kind of an anxious person. And I’ve been traveling so much that an international trip right now feels hard, especially since I have to be away from my sons for the fourth time in three weeks. And I’m easily overwhelmed by new things and lots of sounds and sights, and I’ve never traveled internationally as a divorced woman, and I’m just sort of an odd bird and so I was kind of anxious.
But I was moderately excited to go, and Fancy Assistant Brandon and his adorable girlfriend who I really like are coming and also my funky publicist, and I have a really close friend from graduate school living there and Jim Parsons is there so we had plans to see each other and I also found some awesome vegan places that my favorite vegan magazine VegNews recommended and there’s also a hamam I was excited to try out…it was going to be good.
And then my best friend was saying her goodbyes to me in Atlanta and asked so very benignly, “Do you have your passport?” and I looked at her like the crazy person I am and said without missing a beat, “Absolutely not.” As in, no. It never crossed my mind as I packed to bring my passport. At all. Ever. At all.
Did I mention I’m kind of absent-minded in addition to all of my other lovely qualities? Well, I am.
So that happened. I got my publicist to email me a copy of my passport from the plane she had already boarded headed for Paris. Fancy Assistant Brandon texted me sitting next to her on the plane, “Thanks for keeping the job interesting.” I tried not to imagine them scoffing at me, or disparaging me. I felt bad. And not good. And also really really bad. Did I mention I felt bad? Because I did.
I didn’t cry. I knew that this was not life or death. It was annoying and lame. And it was my fault, but I did not panic. I went to the airport anyway in hopes that I could find a loophole. I didn’t. The Air France people were very nice and helped me rebook a ticket for the following day. I had a day buffer anyway. I mean, I effectively lost any down time in Paris and will simply land, have a wardrobe fitting, go to sleep, do an all day photo shoot, and come home.
A dear friend of mine at home rushed to my house with her two kids in tow and FedExed me my passport overnight so I could leave for Paris. She remarked how incredibly expensive that was. I reminded her I’d reimburse her.
After the airport, I went back to my best friend’s house and her sweet husband met me at the curb and carried my luggage in somberly. And she poured me a tall glass of (French!) red wine. And we built a bookcase that goes in her husband’s office. And then I finished reading Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum, a really riveting novel about a German woman during the Holocaust and what she went through to survive; great love story, I highly recommend it. And then I went to bed.
I slept fitfully. But my passport was waiting for me when I woke up. Game on, Paris. Game on, Universe.
I tend to beat myself up in general and this situation has been no exception. However, here are the things that have emerged most boldly from this:
1. You can’t have too many dear friends who are ready to help you any way you need in a jiffy.
2. Very few things are life and death. I am grateful for that perspective because without it I would have been a hot mess.
3. Men tracht un Gott lacht. We plan and God says, “Hahahahahaha that is SO funny I’m sorry were you under the impression that YOU were in charge. Well you’re not. Deal with it. This is MY WORLD, sister, and you are merely passing through. Huzzah.”
4. Don’t strip the sheets when you leave someone’s house in case you end up back for one more night, especially when owner of said sheets says, “It’s fine, don’t worry, I’ll do it.” Not listening just makes for more bed making, laundry, and sheet-stripping.
5. Wine makes things better. Please enjoy responsibly.
By the time you see this post, I’ll be on a plane back to Los Angeles where I can’t guarantee I will never forget my passport, my keys, my wallet, or a jacket. Because I forget stuff all the time. It’s just me.
And you know what? It’s ok. None of that stuff is life or death either.
Au revoir. Hahahahahahahaha.